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Open Letter To:
Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves – Prime Minister, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Hon. Saboto Caesar – Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation
Hon. Cecil Mckie – Minister Of Tourism Sports And Culture
Hon. Dr. Godwin Friday – Member of Parliament for Northern Grenadines
Herman Belmar – Deputy Director of Grenadines Affairs
Sabrina Mitchell – Bequia Tourism Association
As a visitor of 30 years who has come to appreciate the natural beauty and wildlife of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines I wish to alert you to the recent slaughter of a national treasure as well as an immeasurable national resource.
Several large mantra rays have been taken by spear gun this season in Lower Bay Bequia, one as recently as Friday February 26, 2016. Much like the elephants of Africa, these very large, slow growing, animals are deserving of our protection. It is a unique opportunity to swim with these gentle, social animals not duplicated in many places around the world. The taking of these animals is not for subsistence fishing or heritage, but done by individuals looking to make a quick easy dollar with borrowed boat and equipment at the expense of tourism and good will. These animals have no fear of man and their only enemies are large sharks and man.
The tourist attraction of Sting Ray City on Grand Cayman comes to mind as an example of what this experience could be like. I believe I represent a large number of visitors who were very upset and disappointed in the senseless slaughtering of these majestic animals. I respectfully request that an evaluation of inshore fisheries of the Leeward side of Bequia be done with protections and severe consequences put in place as soon as possible. In particular the protection of the Manta Rays, Eagle Rays and Sting Rays.
This action would be an investment in the natural resources of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and in the future of eco-tourism.
Boulder, CO. USA &
Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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